Meet Our Ancestors
Chauvet Cave: a 36,000-year-old art gallery, normally closed to the public, opens to everyone through immersive tech
In collaboration with
When cavemen discovered art
Step back in time to the dawn of creativity 36,000 years ago
Welcome to the Chauvet Cave
See humanity's first creations come to life in virtual and augmented reality
See the sparks fly
A brief history
Marauding Mammoths, Mysterious Footprints, and the Story of a Miraculous Discovery
A bitesize version of a 36,000-year history
What's on the walls?
Enter the mysterious site that's normally closed to the public
Take the tour in English
Daisy Ridley Takes You on an Immersive Journey Through the Cave in a New Virtual Reality Experience
Watch the drawings come to life before your eyes, as narrated by the iconic British actress
Take the tour in French
Cécile de France Takes You on an Immersive Journey Through the Cave in a New Virtual Reality Experience
Watch the drawings come to life before your eyes, as narrated by the iconic Belgian actress
Launch the immersive experience on SteamVR
Get the app
Who were our ancestors?
Play a game to discover just how much we have in common with prehistoric humans
Who Was a Cro-Magnon Man?
Could Our Ancestors Get Sick?
Did Our Ancestors Have Wars?
How Did Our Ancestors Pick Where to Draw?
How Did Our Ancestors Speak to Each Other?
Did Our Ancestors Die Young?
What Was Spirituality Like 36, 000 Years Ago?
Did Prehistoric Men Cry?
What Materials Did Our Ancestors Use to Make Paint?
How Did Our Ancestors Meet Each Other?
Were There Other Humans in Europe 36,000 Years Ago?
Did Our Ancestors Have Professions?
Why Do We Describe our Ancestors as "Hunter-Gatherers"?
Were There As Many Humans 36,000 Years Ago As Today?
How Did Our Ancestors Dress?
Did Our Ancestors' Children Have Toys?
Did Our Ancestors Have Hygiene Routines?
What Images Did Our Ancestors Paint Most?
Did Our Ancestors Hunt Mammoths?
How Do We Know These Drawings Were Produced 36,000 Years Ago?
Did Our Ancestors Have Parties?
Did Our Ancestors Make Sketches Before Drawing in Caves?
Have All Prehistoric Animals Disappeared?
Did Our Ancestors Live In the Same Place All Year Round?
Did Our Ancestors Cook?
Why Did Our Ancestors Draw So Few People?
How Did Our Ancestors Light Up Caves?
How Long Was Cave Art Practiced For?
Were All Our Ancestors' Tools Made From Flint?
Did Our Ancestors Draw the Animals They Ate?
Untouched from 34,000 BCE to 1994
The story behind the surprising discovery
How Experts Found the Cave With a Mosquito Coil
What it was like to be the first people in the cave since prehistory
Relive the moment
Closed to the public, open in AR
Drop the cave in front of you and experience the cave paintings in Augmented Reality
Hold the Cave in Your Hand
Prehistoric France comes to you in this Pocket Gallery
Take a walk on the wild side
One of Humanity's First Masterpieces
Explore the details in The Horses Fresco
Horses and Mammoths and Bears, Oh My!
See the animals in the Engraved Horses Panel, up close
Why Was a Bear Skull Displayed Like This?
Look closer at the skull placed here 36,000 years ago
The Drawing that Reveals Climate Change
See the drawings of arctic musk oxen that must have lived nearby
What Two Species Can You See?
Clue: one of them is now extinct and one is a festive icon
Can You See The Remains of Ancient Fires?
Take a turn around the Megaceros Gallery
Where art started
Go on a chamber-by-chamber journey through the cave
The World's First Art Gallery
A brief history of one of Mankind's first masterpieces
The Brunel Room
What do the dots depict?
The Bear Hollow Chamber
Spot the woolly mammoth
The Red Panels Gallery
Watch out for the bear bones
The Candle Chamber
You'll have to crawl for this one
The Hillaire Chamber
The mysterious owl drawing
The Skull Chamber and the Lattices Gallery
Why are the skulls there?
The Megaloceros Gallery
An ibex, woolly rhinos, and a megaloceros
The End Chamber
The heart of the sanctuary
The original underground art scene
A closer look at how and why our ancestors decorated the Chauvet Cave
Decoration, Worship, or Magic?
Experts on what could have moved cavemen to create art
How People Painted Before Paint Existed
Discover the range of techniques behind the artworks
The Details You Might Have Missed in the Fresco of the Big Cats
Not the kind of animals you find in the French countryside anymore!
Grab the Prehistoric Popcorn
Was the Chauvet Cave the first movie theater?
In 1940, Pablo Picasso saw ancient cave art and reportedly said, "they invented everything!"
Caveman or copycat?
Discover how cave art made a comeback
Can You Guess Modern Abstract Art From Prehistoric Cave Paintings?
Take the quiz and see for yourself how advanced the ancient artists were
Rock of ages
Explore the ways the art of the past is still alive today
From Picasso to Banksy: How Cave Art Influences Modern Art
Before street art, there was cave art
Nothing is Set in Stone
The quest to protect rock art from climate change, vandalism, and industry
Discover more about the Chauvet Cave and its inhabitants
It Wasn't Just Drawings That Were Left Behind...
A closer look at the human signs inside the cave
Uncover the abandoned artifacts
How To Live Life, Prehistoric Style
The culture of the cave dwellers
Learn about their day-to-day
Take a walk on the wild side
And explore the nature that inspired the drawings
6 Extinct Animals You Won't Find Alive in the Cave Today
It wasn't only our ancestors who roamed these caves...
What the Chauvet Area Looked Like 36,000 Years Ago
From woolly mammoths to woolly rhinoceroses
Do You Dare to Meet the Cave Bear?
The other inhabitant of the cave - that weighed 1,000lbs
Chauvet Cave, recreated
Making the Chauvet experience available to the public
The Epic Journey to Making an Accurate Lifesize Replica
Saving, sharing, preserving
Discover other examples of prehistoric cave art
The Art of Ardeche Caverns
There's more to the region than Chauvet
Are you a teacher, parent or guardian?
Learn Anywhere are downloadable lesson plans that can be used by teachers in class or by students to work through at their own pace.
Learn Anywhere lesson plan
Continue your journey into the cave...
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